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Kushner (center) at the announcement of the normalization deal. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Jared Kushner will travel next Monday on the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi following a U.S.-brokered normalization agreement, the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office announced.

Why it matters: Kushner’s trip will facilitate the beginning of direct talks on various aspects of the Israel-UAE normalization process amid tensions over a pending sale of F-35 jets from the U.S. to the UAE.

  • Kushner will be joined on the flight by a senior Israeli delegation led by Israel's national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat.
  • In addition to Kushner, the U.S. delegation is expected to include national security adviser Robert O'Brien, special envoy Avi Berkowitz and Iran envoy Brian Hook, according to a White House official.
  • They will meet Sunday in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
  • On Monday, the group will travel to Abu Dhabi for multiple meetings. The talks will focus on cooperation in civil aviation, tourism, trade, finance, health, energy and security, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said.

The latest: The UAE canceled a planned trilateral meeting with the U.S. and Israel last Friday to send a message to Netanyahu over his opposition to a pending arms deal between the U.S. and UAE. Go deeper.

Go deeper

Dec 1, 2020 - World

Israel headed for early elections as Gantz-Netanyahu coalition falls apart

Gantz (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Gali Tibbon/Pool/AFP via Getty

Israel's governing coalition is falling apart, setting the stage for the fourth election in two years.

Driving the news: Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced tonight that his Blue and White party would vote in favor of dissolving parliament on Wednesday because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — Gantz's political rival turned coalition partner — was refusing to pass a budget and reneging on their power-sharing deal.

Dec 2, 2020 - World

Israeli parliament opts for early elections in preliminary vote

Netanyahu (C) arrives in parliament today. Photo: Alex Kolomiensky/Pool/AFP via Getty

After six months of a dysfunctional power-sharing government, Israel is headed for its fourth elections in less than two years, most likely at the end of March.

Driving the news: The Knesset voted 61-54 today to approve the preliminary reading of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call new elections. Benny Gantz's Blue and White party supported the bill while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and the rest of the coalition voted against.

Dec 2, 2020 - World

Israel's embassy in Bahrain comes out into the open

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israel plans to open an official embassy in Bahrain by the end of December, formalizing 25 years of secret diplomatic contacts, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israel already had a diplomatic mission in Manama for the last 11 years, run out of a front company that was listed as a commercial consulting firm. Now, there will be an Israeli flag and a sign on the door.

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